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Title: Ndabeni  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Higgovale, Cape Town, De Waterkant, Norwood, Western Cape, Imizamo Yethu, Bishopscourt, Cape Town
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Ndabeni is located in Western Cape
 Ndabeni shown within Western Cape
Country South Africa
Province Western Cape
Municipality City of Cape Town
Main Place Cape Town
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 49.4%
 • Coloured 36.1%
 • Indian/Asian 3.8%
 • White 8.1%
 • Other 2.6%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • English 53.0%
 • Afrikaans 14.5%
 • Xhosa 5.4%
 • Southern Ndebele 1.6%
 • Other 25.4%
Postal code (street) 7405

Ndabeni is an industrial suburb of Cape Town, South Africa, mainly occupied by light industries such as textiles and clothing. It is located about 6 km (4 miles) east of Cape Town city centre and is serviced by a railway station. Ndabeni is bordered to the south east by Pinelands and to the north by Maitland. Its postcode is 7405.


Throughout the 19th century the black population of Cape Town increased dramatically. An 1865 census carried out by the colonial government put the figure at 274 (Western, p. 45). By 1881, some of the whites had begun to think the black population in Papendorp and District Six was so sizeable that they "[needed] to establish an official 'Kafir location' for it..." (Saunders, p. 29). In 1890 the Dock Native Location was established to house black labourers at the dock. This removed the need for employers to house them, often in their own homes. By the end of the century the population had, according to Saunders, risen to 10,000 in greater Cape Town. The town was named "Ndabeni" after Sir Walter Stanford at the residents request. Called Kwa-Ndabeni by the original residents, meaning "house of Ndabeni", the name literally means "place of debate", or place "place of speaking and conversations", but the term was a nickname for Stanford, Under-Secretary of the Department for Native Affairs, with a meaning closer to "in the news".

In 1902, the Illustrated History of South Africa, p. 315).

The black township was not to be tolerated within the city so, as the city grew, new townships were built on its outer edge and the community was relocated. In 1923 Langa was established about 5 km south east of Ndabeni, and it was to here that the population was sent before Ndabeni was dismantled.

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